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Why Steven Curtis Chapman Opens Up About Daughter’s Death 15 Years Later

Photo from Steven Curtis Chapman’s Instagram

Why Steven Curtis Chapman Opens Up About Daughter’s Death 15 Years Later

By Movieguide® Contributor

Steven Curtis Chapman has felt compelled by God to open up about his daughter’s death to help others find hope amid trials.

Chapman referenced the tragedy of his daughter’s death in his 2022 album “Still.” In one of his tracks, he calls life “beautiful and terrible, more painful, more wonderful than I ever could have known…Still, I’m gonna sing about the One who’s given life to me… His love is unchanging, His grace is amazing.”

The singer’s five-year-old daughter, Sue Chapman, died 15 years ago after an accident in their home. Chapman explained that he has found the courage to continue to trust God and know that He is working all things for good from wisdom found in the Psalms.

“For me, the Psalms have become so precious and powerful in my life,” Chapman told The Christian Post. “When you hear the Psalmist saying, ‘Lord, how long are You going to forget me forever? I feel hopeless, I feel desperate,’”

“But then, ‘even so, I’m going to trust You, I’m gonna hold on to Your goodness and Your faithfulness and declare it and sing it,’” he continued. “I’m gonna live with both, you know, the already and the not yet. And I think that’s something that I’ve just felt like God has encouraged me to encourage others with.”

However, even though he is 15 years removed from the accident and has found peace through God, that does not make the loss of his daughter any less painful. Rather than dwell in the pain and let it turn to hatred, Chapman has used it to fuel his projects and encourage others in their hard times.

“There’s humility in knowing: God, You are God, and I am not. But even having walked through our own personal loss of our daughter and 15 years into that journey – that doesn’t go away, that doesn’t get easier. What do you do with that?” he said.

“What I have done, by God’s grace, is to say: God, You are faithful. And You’re good,” Chapman explained. “I don’t understand all of this. But I know the fact that we are on our own personal journey, 15 years into this journey, and we can see You working and redeeming and restoring us, even this side of heaven, believing and knowing that, ultimately, healing is going to come.”

“You do wipe every tear from our eyes, and all of these things that are so broken, are made whole again,” he continued. “But in the meantime, I’m gonna trust You, I’m gonna keep singing about Your goodness and Your faithfulness.”

“I’ve experienced it, I’ve seen it, tasted [it]. And [I’ve] seen that You are good, even with the hard and sadness and the ache and the longing that we live with. And I think that’s a simple message, but it’s just where I feel like God has put me,” Chapman added.

The singer is currently getting ready for the return of his “Still” concert tour.

“I’m very excited to announce the return of my ‘STILL’ Tour – coming to a city near you next spring!” he wrote on Instagram. “This is such a fun and special tour, packed with music, and I sure hope you’ll come join me!”

The tour will begin on Feb. 22 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and conclude on March 24 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman is reflecting on the tragic death of his daughter 14 years ago and how it has influenced his music and his faith. 

Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, adopted Maria Sue from China in 2004. Just a few years later, the 5 year-old was struck by an ATV driven by one of the Chapmans’ sons and died.

The singer shared his grief and heartbreak through his music, something that he said was a family decision. 

“Because when I’m sharing my story, I’m really sharing my family’s story,” Chapman explained. “I’m sharing my wife’s journey alongside me. So it’s been a decision that we’ve made together, but it really has been also just — I feel like it’s part of what the calling [God has placed on my life] has been.”

The singer-songwriter shared that he finds the most comfort in Old and New Testament stories of people who overcame great struggles and defeats. 

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